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NBA Draft 2016: Should the Clippers Target a Shooter?

Doc Rivers' two first-round selections for the Clippers have both been shooters. Will the pattern hold?

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In the weeks leading up to the draft, we're going to look at a ton of possible prospects.  Today: shooting specialists.  With picks 25 and 33, this draft could go a lot of ways for the Clippers: I have over 30 players on my watch list and I still feel like I'm leaving some possibilities off.  That said, the least popular direction for fans would almost definitely be to take a shooting specialist.  Following C.J. Wilcox's selection, complaints were already plentiful that he was redundant with the prior year's pick, Reggie Bullock.  While Bullock has been traded, Wilcox remains on the roster, buried beneath J.J. Reddick, Jamal Crawford, and Austin Rivers at the shooting guard position.  He's also already 25, and will turn 26 mid-season next year.

Please note that analysis of these players is largely secondhand after reading and watching scout video from a variety of sources (mainly those listed in the tables), and then compiling and summarizing.

Malik Beasley

Source Draft Express Mock Draft Express Big Board Bodner USAT Mock Kevin O'Connor Big Board Kevin O'Connor Mock Mock
Ranking 24 24 22 24 25 20

Beasley is projected right in the Clippers' range, and if they really like him he'll definitely be available for them to trade up and get him.  Kevin O'Connor even has Beasley as an "A+" pick for the Clippers, citing J.J. Redick's age and suggesting that the 19-year-old Beasley could be a long-term replacement.  Beasley's strengths are attractive in a vacuum--he's a good shooter, energetic defender, and athletic finisher.  Unfortunately, his weaknesses make him very forgettable from a Clippers' perspective--he's under 6'4" without shoes, he can't really create offensively, and he doesn't have a lot of defensive versatility to guard wings.

This is quite a dilemma--Beasley really does sound like the perfect future J.J. Redick replacement for the Clippers, possibly bringing more defensively and athletically even if his stroke never develops to J.J.'s otherworldly levels.  But, the Clippers are also definitely short-term focused, with Doc Rivers' track record in charge of basketball ops and Chris Paul growing one year older with each playoff disappointment.  In a draft that's supposed to be deep with possible role players, shouldn't the Clippers at least try to pick someone who has a chance of helping this current core win, even if it isn't with an immediate contribution as a rookie.

Ultimately, I think I'd pass on Beasley, if only because his attractiveness as a long-term Redick replacement is mitigated by the fact that in order to have a long-term Redick replacement in the same system, you also have to have a long-term Chris Paul replacement, which will be a much harder feat.  Depending on what names are on the board when the Clippers are on the clock, Beasley might be the right investment, but I hope we see a different name called.

Furkan Korkmaz

Source Draft Express Mock Draft Express Big Board Bodner USAT Mock Kevin O'Connor Big Board Kevin O'Connor Mock Mock
Ranking 15 21 19 22 17 16

Korkmaz is the more highly coveted shooting specialist between the two, and he'll probably go before the Clippers are up.  However, international prospects can sometimes slip a lot, so he's worth discussing since he lands in the 20s on the big boards.  Korkmaz isn't even 19 years old yet, and he might be the best pure shooter in the draft, at 46.8% for European club Anadolu Efes this year.  At 6'7", he has NBA SG/SF size, but he's definitely too skinny to be an effective wing defensively, and he's not really quick enough to defend guards.  If nothing else, his age, offensive skill, and shooting stroke will be worth a gamble for a team in the draft in the hopes that his frame fills out and he develops a little more physicality.

While he isn't a dream fit for the Clippers, it would be hard to justify passing on him if he miraculously fell to 25.  Korkmaz has a lot of long-term upside and at the very least would seem to have trade value high enough to land the Clippers.  He's seen as the type of guy who teams would want right away, but it wouldn't shock me if a team like Boston, with a lot of picks, chooses to stash the young and inexperienced wing.